A children's ministry attitude I love

“We love children at Solomon’s Porch and very much desire for them to be a part of our community. Our intention on Sunday nights is to create an atmosphere that is conducive for children. Our children are part of the Worship Gathering all the way through.”

“..we find that crying babies remind us that it is good to take time to listen to one another cry – even during the ‘important’ times of life.”

church so excellent that it's not real

Mike Sares quoted at Out of Ur:
"Every generation is quick to point out the hypocrisy of the one that preceded it. The generation born just after WWII began rejecting the values of their parents during the '60s. Now it's their kids’ turn.

Today’s young adults see a generation of baby-boomer Christians that has striven for "excellence" in every part of church life. Boomers proclaimed in the 1980s that image is everything, and their churches have reflected that cultural trend. The nurseries have got to be sparkling clean, the church buildings are marvelously functional as opposed to artistic, the music is as close to FM radio quality as possible (even if they must hire a band), the Sunday services are seamless with perfect transitions (just like television), the preaching is entertaining and informative (but not so deep as to offend visitors), and the plants on stage are beautiful (but artificial).

As a result, according to Dieter Zander, the next generation has concluded that "everything is image," and therefore nothing can be trusted. Church is too slick, too good, too polished to be real. And the twenty-something hunger for raw authenticity just doesn’t fit in.

in the beginning

My first memory of church is of the whole congregation singing The Lord's Prayer. From my perspective, as a child, it was powerful. At the time, I thought that it was proper to end prayers with, "all men". I also thought that adults got to have "super salad" with their meals. Our family often went to a coffee shop called "the wooden shoe" after church. I called it the broken shoe. After all these years, Wooden Shoe is still in business, but I could not find a picture to share.


There are times when you feel bad and you are supposed to feel bad and it is good to feel bad. During those times, the wrong thing to do is to act like you feel good. Inevitably, the bad feelings and thoughts will leak out and continually spoil your show and give you away and you are perpetually stuck in the muck of bad feelings that never go away.

Sorrow and grief are feelings that are human, as God created us. Grief is good and heals. God's grace is greater than any sin.

Love, loving as God loves is a serious thing. It involves sacrifice and real forgiveness

Jesus had harsh words for people who act one way or say one thing, but in reality are something else. He called them hypocrites, which is to say, someone who wears a mask and are just play acting a part, but are really something else.

So, the word is get real.

Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over.
Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.
James 4:9 TNIV, The Message, NLT


Have you been shorn lately? Sheep need to be sheared once or twice a year. They are shorn in groups. Being fleeced is good for a sheep. All that wool is heavy.

on guard

Watch is the word.

entre vous

Entre vous is French for "between you" or "among you". It means that something is between two or more people. Not on you and on you too, but in your midst. It means sharing, like sharing the Lord's cup in communion (Luke 22.17).

What strikes me is how highly individualistic that we are in our culture. When it says "you", we usually think it means "me" or "I", but it often means "you all"... plural. Stuff does happen to us individually, but it also happens to us communally.

What is between us or what's happening among us? Another way to see it is that when something happens to one person, it affects the rest of us. There's a common sharing, a community.

I'm also thinking about the between space between us and God. What's between us and God?

This week

I've got so many things I'm reading and listening to and thinking about, that I have not been able pick one to write about this week. As each week goes by, I think that I have found all the new information or many sorts, but then perhaps after a pause, I find or discover lots more. The funny thing is that much of this information or writings were out there before, but I didn't find them. A season of acceleration was decreed or predicted or prophesied upon us and our Third Day friends back in January, I believe, and I'm really in it now. It's funny that I found someone else who's going through the same thing, of whom Graham came and spoke at his church back in February. Back in Feb., he wrote about a desire for deconstruction. It's very exciting to find out that many others are on this wavelength.

I finally got to a meeting Monday night, with people who want to do something about problems that Long Beach faces. I met some real Christ followers!

Looking forward to it

Do you often trip when you walk because you are always looking backwards? Have you lost good friends because you daydream of the past when they are talking to you?

Have you noticed that you can not look two ways at once, nor listen to two things at once, nor think of two things at once? You know what happens when you try to? You get driven nuts and don't look too good when you've rammed into something (figuratively speaking). You can tell the officer or the insurance person how important it was that you needed to look out the back window, while driving forward, but the piper will still have to be paid.


"with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Metronome is from the Greek words metron (measure) and nomos (rule or division: law).

I was pondering about giving and generosity and then the word metronome came to me and through it, I was led to the measure for measure sayings of Jesus, in Mark and Luke. The word law or rule is not explicitly in these sayings, but I think it is said implicitly. You measure out and it's measured back. That's what it says and I believe it.

Tick, tock, tick, tock.......

whatever or whatever?

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Just let a smile be your umbrella, On a rainy, rainy day . . .

I believe that the idea of having a positive attitude is an idea that God thought up and it's good advice. Did you know that if you grin, it acually changes the way you feel inside? Did you know that laughter is healing? Ever heard that old song about accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative? Could it be that God inspired that song? God is very positive, very optimistic, and very cheer-ful.

All of the lyrics to "Let a smile be your umbrella", here.

simply training

Think about training. Athletes train. Pilots train. Soldiers train. Kids have training wheels on their bikes. Training is a word that translates into our culture for discipleship. Training in disciplines of life, training in a way of life; the way of life that Jesus taught.

In the great commission passage in Matthew, Jesus says to go out and make disciples-----> Train people in what you know, that was passed down from Jesus. That's what he tells his followers to do. Jesus didn't say to go plant churches. Churches are the result of groups or gatherings of people in training.


I went to my local Christian bookstore last night and decided to buy a new Bible. I discovered that a revised version of the NIV is out now, called Today's New International Version. Today, I found out that some of the texts that have been revised are controversial. The TNIV translates words previously translated in a male way (sons for instance), instead into gender neutral language. It also goes away from the antisemitic tone in the gospel of John changing "the jews" to "the jewish leaders"(John 18:36), which is a better translation in my opinion. Other choices they made that I like are to me distinctly post-modern, like to go back to a more literal "the heavens", rather than "the sky" (Isaiah 50:3).

Piper, Dobson, Sproul, Robertson, Falwell, Tada, and Grudem don't like it, as well as the Presbyterian Church in America and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Waltke, Hybels, Wiersbe, Ortberg, Bock, D.A. Carson, Blomberg, Fee, Stott, and Strobel like it.

A good article is here.

apostolic migration

This chart by Wolfgang Simpson is about the journey from the old to the new. You can't go from peak to peak. You must go down to go up.

-2 You're happy in the old.
-1 You want to leave.
0 You leave to search.
+1 You've found the new.
+2 You're reproducing.

Point 0 is a place of dying to the old. After getting to point +1, it is totally nornal to cycle back to point 0, according to Simpson.... and that's where we're at. I was listening to a micro church planter from Australia, Tony Collis, and he is having the same experience that we've been having: after feeling great in the new thing for about a year, then feeling a disorientation of "I don't know what I'm doing", and then going through a cycling back of dying to the old ways. This is totally normal, according to Wolfgang! You can hear him discuss this process here.

Go here to read a more complete set of notes on Simpson's migration thesis.

Sky Links, 9-27-17